DTC brands splash the cash in 2019

The Direct-to-Consumer Brand Advertising on TV report fundamentally showed that the nature of DTC TV advertising is changing, in particular who and what a DTC brand is. iSpot said that the modern DTC brand is typically under ten-years-old, born in digital or social, and disrupting legacy business. These brands are commonly VC backed with Millennials making up a large portion of their target audience.

iSpot reported that in the first quarter of 2019, 103 brands had advertised on TV with brands, such as HomeAdvisor, Booking.com, Wayfair, and Chewy.com having estimated spend exceeding $100 million. Furthermore, to break into the top 25, brands had to spend an estimated $20 million in the first nine months of 2019.
Also, DTC ads have broken out of their perceived traditional home ads are no longer just for the overnight daypart.

Overall, the H1 2019 DTC Report found that through H1 2019, direct-to-consumer brands spent $1.7 billion on TV ads with the leading networks for DTC ads, by impressions, being Fox News, HGTV, CBS, CNN and ESPN. The leading programmes attracting DTC ad dollars were the 2019 NBA Finals, Friends, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; SportsCenter; 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The top five spending DTC brands were Booking.com, HomeAdvisor, Chew.com, Wayfair and Expedia. At $90.3 million, discount flight and hotel brand Booking.com spent nearly $16 million more than the next closest DTC brand. the company was found to have aired over 28% of their ads in primetime.

The research also found that September delivers the highest number of spots on television for the DTC category. This is attributed to brands making strategic pivots based on results delivered during summer months. Through Q3 of 2019, the number of airings on television for the DTC category continues to remain stable. January remained the strongest month of 2019.

Based on September delivering the highest return since Q1, iSpot predicted in the Direct-to-Consumer Brand Advertising on TV report that the market can expect to see a steady uptick over the fourth quarter with an increase in spots, airings, impressions and estimated spend.

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